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Since I will be in Seattle tomorrow it is not possible for me to attend the memorial for Mark. If there were any other way I would be there at the memorial. I have so many thoughts at the moment that it is hard to filter them and say something truly meaningful.

Maybe I should start at the very beginning. I first met Mark at a small Taikai in Ohio in 1985. I was rooming with a group of good natured Buyu from Stockton, California and they introduced me to their Sensei Mark. As he always has since, Mark welcomed me warmly and offered his help with anything that I needed. Then Mark faded into the background. Since then I have seen Mark organize Taikais and seminars with and for Jack and yet Mark never wanted to be the front man, he always let Jack do that part. Truly a humble man who did not want public recognition for what he did or accomplished. A gentle man who always acted friendly and courteously. He helped save several businesses. He was an intelligent man who went out of his way to do the job right. A mentor to a huge number of people, too many to count.

Through interacting with Mark I met many of you in the Kenosha Dojo, Larry Sells (sp.?), members of the Stockton Dojo as well as many other people that I consider my Buyu. Mark never charged a lot for training and in fact may have lost money keeping a dojo going. I will never forget his Bujin can. His priority was the training, not the money. Who else would have had a barbershop as a front for their dojo? Mark also organized the reprinting of the book by Robert Humphrey as a tribute to Jack Hoban for his birthday. A true and caring friend indeed. The last time I saw Mark in the summer of 2010 he was as friendly and welcoming as he ever was. It was always a pleasure to see Mark.

In the end I wish that I knew Mark better. I wish he had come out to more Gasshuku at James' farm in the last few years. I wish he had come down to Etsuko and my wedding. I wish I had made more of an effort to attend training in Kenosha so that I could have seen him one last time.

In the end Mark led a remarkable life. How many people can truly say that they led a life based on Ninpo? But we can say that about Mark. We will miss Mark, but to keep his memory alive, each one of us must commit to the task of being a friend to someone who needs a friend, mentoring younger people who need a mentor, and doing our very best in our interactions with other people to be supportive and to help other people achieve their goals. I think that Mark would be very happy if we could achieve even half of what he accomplished. Let us keep Mark's memory alive and make this his legacy by following in his footsteps. Let's make this a happy time and rededicate ourselves to doing what is right in life. That would give Mark the honor that is due him for what he tried to accomplish here on Earth for his Buyu throughout his life.